TISDALE — The Tisdale Trojans have selected four players to wear letters this season.
The Saskatchewan Male U18 AAA Hockey League team has named 16-year-old forwards Madden Wallis, Ashtyn Shields, and Parker Dunn and 17-year-old defenceman Cole Barry as assistant captains. The team will not have a captain this season. What makes the foursome good leaders for this young team?
“They’re consistent. You know what you are going to get every game from them,” Tisdale head coach Dennis Kubat said. “They lead by example. They work hard in practice. They are good people. … Guys when they talk respect what they say, and they can back it up on the ice.”
The Trojans’ leadership group also includes goaltender Cody Wilson. Goaltenders rarely wear letters, but Wilson is certainly a leader for the Trojans.
“He’s been absolutely amazing with what he brings every day,” Kubat said. “He’ a true born leader.”
The Trojans (1-13-0-2) are entering a busy part of their schedule. They play 11 games before the Christmas break. On Tuesday, the team was slated to play in Yorkton. It is the Trojans’ first weekday contest of the regular season. The team is then in Swift Current for two weekend games.
As of Monday, Yorkton (3-15-0-2) and Swift Current (9-8-0-1) sat in the bottom half of the 12-team league standings. The Trojans’ last eight games have all been against teams in the top half of the standings.
“Hopefully, we can bring the same compete level and hopefully we can get on a little roll here and get some confidence,” Kubat said.
Against the fourth-place Saskatoon Blazers last weekend the Trojans earned a point in a 3-2 overtime loss and also fell 4-0. Wilson made 36 saves on 39 shots in the first game while Brady Kashuba turned away 45 in the second.
“You can’t say enough about our goalies this year,” Kubat said. “They’ve faced a lot of shots every night. Never complained. Never blame anybody else. Hopefully, we can get them some wins here and maybe a little more offence for them to work with.”
The Trojans only returned two players from last year’s campaign that was abbreviated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the young group, Kubat and his staff has stressed that it is a process.
“From game one to game 16, we are getting better,” Kubat said. “It shows. The scores are getting closer. We have played a lot of tough games here. The boys have battled. Maybe we are not getting the results, but we are improving.”
The head coach said he loves coming to the rink every day to work with this group.
“They are buying in. They work hard. They are good people. They are just fun to be around,” Kubat said. “Then you have our staff with myself, Gavin [Brandl], Rob [Pollon] and if we bring in our skills coach [Joey Leach] and our goalie coach [Ashley Kuechle] – they are just great people. Just fun to be around. It’s just a great place to be.”
Skate with the Trojans
After Sunday’s home game versus the Blazers, the team hosted a Skate with the Trojans. Fans joined the team on the ice after the game.
“I really enjoyed spending time with our fans,” Trojans defenceman Simon Martin said. “They do a lot for us, so it felt really good to give back to them and the community.”
The Trojans last week
Saturday, Nov. 20 in Tisdale
Saskatoon Blazers 3, Tisdale 2 OT
Trojans Scorers: Madden Wallis, Pavel McKenzie
Blazers Scorers: Raiden Zacharias, Bronson Babyak
Goalies: Cody Wilson, Tisdale, 36 saves on 39 shots; Eric Kahl, Saskatoon, 15 on 17
Notes: The Blazers scored twice in the first period. The Trojans responded with two second period goals, including one on the powerplay, to tie things up. Tyson Buczkowski scored in overtime for the Blazers. Wilson was named the home star. “We were more structured in our systems in the second and third and didn’t give up those high danger chances,” Tisdale head coach Dennis Kubat said. “Willy made some really nice saves that kept us in it and gave us a chance to get two points.”
Sunday, Nov. 21 in Tisdale
Saskatoon Blazers 4, Tisdale 0
Blazers Scorers: Hudson Malinoski, Luke Dahlen, Trae Wilkie, Riley Ashe
Goalies: Brady Kashuba, Tisdale, 45 saves on 49 shots; Alex Garrett, Saskatoon, 24 on 24
Notes: The Blazers scored three in the first period and one in the third. Saskatoon scored on its lone powerplay while Tisdale was 0-for-5. Defenceman Simon Martin was the home star. Tisdale head coach Dennis Kubat said Kashuba gave the Trojans a chance to win.
The Tisdale Trojans (1-13-0-2) are on the road for three games this week. On Tuesday, they were slated to play in Yorkton (3-15-0-2). On the weekend, the Trojans are in Swift Current. They play the Legionnaires (9-8-0-1, as of last Saturday) on Saturday and Sunday.